Expensive cross stolen from church

| June 14, 2010

COOKEVILLE — A large expensive piece of jewelry, a cross worn by the priest at a Cookeville church, has been stolen, police said.

The heavy silver cross is valued at $4,000.

It happened sometime in May at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on N. Washington Ave., according to Cookeville Police Detective Sgt. David Gragg.

A parishioner had loaned Father Joe Weatherly the silver and turquoise pectoral cross to wear during church services, the detective said.

"And Father Joe had placed the cross in the back of a desk drawer in his office," Detective Gragg said. "Several days later, he discovered it was missing."

There were no signs of forced entry to the church, the office, or the desk, and it is not uncommon for the priest's office to be "accessed by church members," the detective's official report on the case says.

As soon as the theft was reported, Detective Gragg checked with pawn shops and jewelry dealers here, but found no one who had seen a piece of jewelry fitting the description.

The parishioner who provided the cross to the priest describes it as "a heavy silver cross which has approximately eight turquoise stones embedded into the face of it," the detective's report says.

"Each arm of the cross is between two and three inches in length. Father Joe said that the arms of the cross are equal in length as in a Greek cross. The parishioner said that the high value is due to the stones being Bisbee Turquoise from Bisbee, Arizona."

The 5×5 cross was on a 24-inch chain.

Detective Gragg hopes that someone reading about the theft may have information on the case.

Anyone who might have seen the cross or who might know something about the theft is asked to call Detective Gragg at (931) 526-2125 or call Crime Stoppers at 520-7867. Those who call Crime Stoppers do not have to reveal their identity.



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Category: Church Security

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